Travelogue 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Dejanay Richardson. Barcelona, Spain.

Globalization is a part of everyone`s life in both a large and a small way. Globalization is the process of which there is a shift towards an interdependent and integrated world economy. Through the vast expansion of cheaper transportation, telecommunication, technologies, globalization has created a homogenous network for everyone to compete in. However, sometimes competition has not always served the interest of the local community and the market. In the short videos displayed in “Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy”, the main character was a part of the globalized economy by selling clothes to his community in Zambia. What once maybe considered something for charity, is an international competition for merchandising and sales in the clothes industry. However, Zambia would be considered a 3rd world country, as most of its residents can not afford basic necessities and only make about several dollars per hour. That is why, the main character wanted to get into the industry in order to support his family. However, the act of selling this clothes do more harm than good because it creates a bigger diverge of social classes in Zambia leaving the poor more destitute. Globalization does contribute to Zambia`s overall rise in all entrepreneurs, but it also disrupts the cultural differences in this country. As the people begin to wear a lot of the hammy downs of donated clothes from the salvation army, many of the morals of the people led to that belonging in this global market would help them. Although specifically, globalization is not to blame there are many “tricksters” in the community that could have a bad influence for the people of Zambia. This is because only commercial dealers are the one who profits the most out of this business, but media makes it credible that anyone can succeed with hard work and persistence.

Kevin Robbins writes about the positives and negatives of Globalization. In term of culture and identity, there are more negatives than positives. Robbins describes that globalization can leave some people left out because they are not a part of the main contribution of globalization. There are two ends of the spectrums to globalization “At one end of the spectrum, she argues, (Doreen Massey), there are those that are “at the forefront” of what is going on: ‘the jetsetters, the ones sending and receiving the faxes and the email… and at the other are the ones who are out of control” Massey then goes on to talk about how the immigrants who are trying to have a better life are integrated into America with more ease than those who are from India, Pakistan, or other further countries. The main point of her argument is that depending on who a person is, and their position in the global community they could be accepted or rejected. Globalization is something that affects us all, our behaviors towards others, and ourselves.

As students, we ourselves have a huge part in the globalization part of the world. We indulge in the global economy, while also transforming our own cultural ways of life. Most underdeveloped countries can now become a more developed country because they have participated in the global market. We buy the products that are often made in these countries like China, India, Brazil. Yet they may get in the way of how we interpret our rites of passage in the world. Young students may want to indulge in the luxuries of assimilating to American culture than sharing in their transitions with their roots. We start to loose our connection to traditional ceremonies like the one we saw in our class where the young native American girl was transforming into a woman. While many Native Americans and Latin Americans and other cultures still dedicate certain days to traditional ceremonies, globalization has given us the option to escape to a more popular connotation of how we experience a culture.

Below is a picture of what I think Globalization represents for the positive sides because sometimes we blend instead of standing out. Now, we can communicate with other countries so closely together. Even though our world may look more homogenous in the sense that girls in Taiwan may wear some trendy fashions from the U.S., we still have access to each other. Technology has expanded what it means to be a global community.

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Globalization of Everyone – Fall 2016/Spring 2017

 

 

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Travel Log 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Casey Keohan. Gold Coast, Australia

Here in the Gold Coast, I do not even have to leave my bedroom to encounter globalization. I can see the bright signs for Macca’s (McDonalds), K-Mart, Target and H&M all from my balcony. I have visited many different cities and suburbs in my two months here, and nearly every one is home to a Hungry Jacks (same owner, menu and logo as Burger King) or a Nandos. Peanut butter is even sold in stores labeled as “American-style Peanut Butter” (Although that name makes it falsely seem like there is an Aussie style peanut butter). I am still surprised each time I discover another chain here that we also have back at home. While there are some benefits to these companies serving such a diverse clientele, there are also many issues. McDonalds may have adapted to each culture in which it is present, but the “McDonaldization” has also caused major health issues for many poor communities. Fast food places have provided the cheapest food options for low-income families. The increase in high-calorie, high-fat diets contributes to the growing obesity rates across the world.

Likewise, the “coca-colonization” that Robbins also discusses has created a growing problem in many poorer areas. In my Nutrition class here in Australia, we watched a video about the presence of Coke in Mexican schools and communities. In places where safe drinking water is not readily available, The Coca-Cola Company has come “to the rescue”, providing free or extremely inexpensive bottles of cola to school children and their families. The drink has taken over the community, and some babies are even being fed Coke in their bottles instead of milk or formula. In a way, this is a human rights issue, as the people are not being made aware of the health risks of consuming so much of the soft drink. As a result, they are developing health issues like obesity and diabetes, and they do not have the resources to properly treat them.

The movie T-shit Travels really surprised me, because while my family and I donate trash bags full of used clothing each year, I never thought it would ever leave the United States. It is crazy to me that people on the other side of the world are making a living off of things that we Americans basically discard as trash. It is also upsetting that the export of our used goods has completely ruined the clothing manufacturing business in these communities. It really adds a whole new depth to the idea that every action has a much larger effect than we can see.

Again, we must reconsider our working definition of global community to incorporate the need to fight for the human rights of others in our community. As fellow members, this is our responsibility. Thus, a global community also acts as activists for its members to ensure each is receiving all of their inherent human rights.

So as the cultures of the world continue to merge and deviate, gracefully or not, it is important to take the friction and tension as a learning experience and not as an opportunity to oppress or offend another culture. As Robbins suggests, “we should not think of globalization in terms of homogenization, then, in line with what is commonly believed and feared. But nor should we see it in terms of diversity and differentiation, which is the opposite temptation that many more critical spirits have succumbed to. What globalization in fact brings into existence is a new basis for thinking about the relation between cultural convergence and cultural divergence” (245). With more readily available forms of international transport and communication, there is more and more need for the formation of a true global community, in which members can interact with as little conflict as possible. So as study abroad students, what is our role in globalization and the formation of a global community? It may not be possible to determine at this time, but in my opinion the best place to start is with education. In learning about other cultures, we learn to respect and honor people for who they are and what they believe, creating a smoother transition for both the convergence and divergence of the world’s cultures.

The picture I have chosen to represent globalization shows the many paths of flight used each day. We are now able to connect with other countries and cultures faster than ever before. With more travel comes more global interactions and greater potential for globalization. Education and understanding are the most important factors in the success of this movement.

 

Works Cited:

Robins, K., 2002. Encountering Globalization. In: C. Held & A. McGrew, eds. The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity. Ch. 20.

Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” by Daniela Scotto. Rome, Italy

Although the world of globalization is happening all around us, it is much more evident while living abroad. When home in America, it is not our natural instincts to question our surroundings and interactions, in which we consider self-evident. However, once we step into unfamiliar territory, we gain heightened awareness, and our daily routines become subjects of discussion. This initial shock, leading to cultural understanding, is essential to prepare young study abroad students to encounter globalization.

From the moment I set foot into my apartment I personally encountered globalization through the act of integration of mix-cultures, or “hybridization” (Robins, p. 240). Due to the fact that all of the girls that I am living with have different backgrounds, come from different places, and we are all living in Italy while incorporating the Italian lifestyle into our everyday lives, several cultures have consequently “mixed” together. Personally, I tend to notice this integration in the kitchen, when we are all preparing a dinner together. Due to the fact that we are always inspired by the popular Italian food culture, we usually begin with a pasta dish. Suddenly, the meal has become something completely new and unique of its own. Interesting spices, side dishes, sauces, and beverages have all been added in accordance to someone’s personal background or upbringing. Kevin Robins explains this concept in reference to movement of people, “With mobility, comes encounter. In many respects, this may be stimulating and productive. Global encounters and interactions are producing inventive new cultural forms and repertoires” (Robins, p. 240). What was once a simple Italian dish now contains pieces of multiple cultures.

In addition to the concept of “hybridization”, Robins presented several other ideas in which really resonated with me. For instance, being that I am American, I have never really stopped to think of how the spread of American culture could be perceived negatively abroad. Robins states, “There is the clear sense in some quarters that ‘Americanization’ – from Hollywood to Coke and McDonald’s – is a threat to the integrity of European cultural life (see Tomlinson 1997)” (Robins, p. 241).  Walking through the city of Rome, Italy, I am happy to say that there is a sense of tranquility in the fact that typical fast food chains are not found on every street corner. However, that is not to say that I haven’t passed a McDonald’s or two during my time here. Turning on the radio you will find American music, flipping through television channels you will find American shows and movies, and shopping in supermarkets you will find American brands. What always confuses me most about American influence on European countries is: why do they enjoy listening to music that they cannot understand? Despite my silly confusion, after reading Robins’ analysis of this phenomenon, I can understand why this mass-spread of American culture could be frustrating. Robins explains, “But where some envisage and enjoy cosmopolitan complexities, others perceive, and often oppose, what they see as cultural homogenization and the erosion of cultural specificity” (Robins, p.242). As an American, I would also be annoyed to see my home being filled with large corporations from a foreign country. This goes to show and support Robins’ important notion that globalization is experienced differently for everyone and that there are opposing ideas to this concept.

Despite the fact that some countries have harsh feelings towards the globalization of American culture, some places, such as Africa, rely and depend on the support from the United States and other global superpowers. In the video, “The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy”, they follow the daily routine of a young man called Luka. Luka is in the second hand clothes trade business, an industry in which has flourished in Africa and evidently replaced manufacturing within the country. Being that my family and I are always donating old clothing, I found this video very interesting. I never gave thought to the idea that my old clothing could be anywhere in the world right now, finding itself subject to the second hand clothes trade business. The narrator’s reaction to the American globalization in Africa reminded me of how I feel when in Rome, “The style of dress in the village was oddly familiar. The village elder in the Chanel knock off jacket, the woman in the ADCD T-shirt, the children sporting Adidas” (T-Shirt Travels). Although these individuals live very different lifestyles from what we know in America, it is interesting to see how globalization is experienced through volunteer services and consequently affected the African lifestyle.

While reading this article and during my time here abroad, the topic of human rights has arose several times. Because of this, I would alter our class-working definition of “global community” to incorporate this important building block in globalization. Subsequently, I would like to add the following: all individuals in the global community shall be treated with political, religious, and gender equality and have the freedom to defend their unalienable rights. Obviously this is only touching upon the basic ideals constructing human rights, however, it is certainly an important start. Something in which caught my attention in regards to human rights was the current global issue of Islamic struggles in the context of Western Globalization. It saddens me that some Muslims feel as though they need to be cautious in order to maintain a positive perception of others, always feeling targeted and different. Robins quotes Akbar Ahmed in order to convey this message, “For many Muslims, Ahmed argued, the objective is ‘to participate in the global civilization without their identity being obliterated’” (Robins, p. 245). Although to a far less severity, this reminded me of how I feel while participating in the global community abroad. At times I am ashamed of my American background, trying to hide my nationality. However, if I am in the company of other Americans, I am always very cautious in how we present ourselves and how we are viewed. It is sad that people feel this way while participating in the global community, the one in which they belong to just as much as the next person. Due to the fact that everyone should be treated equal, this should not be an issue.

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The picture in which conveys my developing awareness of the interactions of globalization and travel is of my roommate Fricya ad I on a plane during a weekend trip. Although this may sound like a strange representation of awareness for globalization, a main part of encountering the global community is both learning from others and teaching others. As I have mentioned in previous travel logs, Fricya is Brazilian, and therefore we often see things much differently. What is normal to myself may be strange to her, and vise versa. Traveling with Fricya has been a great experience and a fitting example of Robin’s concept of “hybridization”. During my travels, I am able to now consider four different cultures: American, Italian, Brazilian, and our current travel destination. Because of this, there is a constant cycle of integration and exchanging of ideas as I am always learning something new concurrently adding to someone else’s knowledge!

Works Cited

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning (Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2010).

The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy

Travel Log 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Chase Chiga. Shanghai, China.

Globalization is a very interesting idea and concept in today’s world that I have to deal with daily. I am an International Business so Globalization is a concept that is talked about often in school. Back in the United States, we encounter globalization everywhere like how Kevin Robins describe, “Walk down your local high street and you will be aware of global chains such as McDonalds and Benetton.” Part of me expected china to be different but I was completely wrong. Shanghai is itself a global city, it was built up by the west and china to be a global city of trade. As such it is a lot more open to globalization than other Chinese cities. Within this city, you are able to get all manners of non-Chinese goods. If I go to the local mall I am, at least for the most part, not seeing Chinese stores but American, European, or Japanese. I go to a local Chinese restaurant and can get a Coca-Cola and sometimes can even order off of a menu written in both Chinese and English. Every day I can see signs of this city not being just Chinese but a truly global city.

Globalization itself is a two-way spread of influence, even if it isn’t a 1 to 1 ratio. Globalization isn’t just the spread of products but of ideas and that is where I can have the most influence. A few weeks ago I had a test in one of my classes and after my friend and I had finished our test, but waiting for another to finish, our Chinese professor called us out of the class and proceeded to ask us about the US politics and political ideas and we asked about china’s politics . This spreading of ideas is what truly makes globalization, it can create influence so many at such a fast rate.

This definition of a global community is always evolving however I do think it is important to express globalization within the definition. If we were to describe a global community globalization goes right along with it because in order to have the connections to a global community it would have to bring ideas and people from different areas across the world. However, it is also important to stress the equality and acceptance. In a truly global community, there can’t be favoritism of a certain way of life and the lives of others should be respected as equal. If this is not respected then it wouldn’t truly be a global community but a community with an American-centric, European-centric, or Chinese-centric, whatever the dominate culture is in the community. Which leads not only to a failure of a global community but a failure of Globalization.

My picture this week is of a street in downtown shanghai. I chose this picture because it is a good way to show the global culture that exists in shanghai. You can easily see non-Chinese stores being the focus of the two malls. And if it weren’t for the Chinese signs someone could mistake this for a city in the United States. This is a good representation of the globalization of the city of shanghai. I have gone outside of shanghai and the towns are nothing like this but then downtown shanghai is another more global world than the rest of china.

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Travel Log 9 “Exploring Stereotypes”, by Casey Keohan. Gold Coast, Australia

No matter how hard we try to resist using stereotypes, they always seem to prevail. Maybe because it is just too difficult to understand the complexities of each and every culture that exists in the world. Maybe because we hate accepting that there is so much we do not know. As Slimbach explains, “…we’re taught from childhood to view strangers with suspicion. By the time we’re adults we’ve learned to reject some and to identify with others by projecting stereotypic images and forming alliances…Eventually we may collect more information and describe [people] more fully. But the tragic consequence of ‘boxing’ is that we relate to people on the basis of the label we’ve put on their box, rather than encountering them as unique individuals” (57). So while we may not be able to totally avoid using stereotypes, we can at least be open to learning when we discover they are not true.

I’m not really sure what I expected when I embarked on my 26-hour journey to the other side of the world. There are quite a few different stereotypes of Australians, the most common being the surf culture and the outback culture. However, I have yet to meet an Australian who truly fulfills either of these stereotypes. I haven’t heard “G’day mate” nearly as much as I thought, and I have never heard someone ask to “put another shrimp on the barbie”. In fact, they do not even call them shrimp here (it’s a prawn), so saying such a thing would make it very clear to everyone around that you are an American. I was also surprised to discover that like the US, Australia is a country of immigrants and thus boasts a very ethnically and culturally diverse population. I have met far more Aussies with Asian or European backgrounds than Aboriginal backgrounds. Some of this is influenced by my location—the east coast of the country is a massive tourist industry, and one in four jobs in the gold coast are based solely on tourism. Thus, it seems to be a popular destination for immigrants first settling in Australia.

The most surprising stereotype to me has by far been that of the drinking culture. Even Australians think they drink more than the average person. However, the liquor laws are extremely strict here. Bars have rules on how many drinks you can buy at once, and will not sell certain drinks after midnight. Taxes are extremely high on hard alcohol, making the prices exponentially higher than they would be at home. As a result, you see significantly fewer belligerent people on the streets at night, even in the city. I worked at a car race last weekend, and was required to get and RSA (responsible service of alcohol) certification before I could be employed. The course outlined many of the liquor laws, which are heavily regulated by the government. I found this interesting because Australia bears a stereotype of heavy drinking.

I have also discovered that Australians have many stereotypes of Americans that are not very accurate. I have been asked countless number of times if I own a gun. In 1996, Australia bought back many of the guns in the country, only allowing active members of hunting clubs to keep them. As a result, there have been no mass shootings and gun-related deaths have drastically decreased. Many Australians think that we must all own guns since we have not taken any action to remove them from dangerous hands. Additionally, most Australians absolutely despise Trump. Countless Uber drivers have asked me about the election, and because American politics are world politics, I have watched many heated debates break out. It has been interesting to see than many Australian adults are following the election more than many of the members of my communitas. As a result, we tend to be labelled as slightly ignorant, especially because of our generally poor voter turnout.

The picture I have chosen as an Australian view of Americans is that of people walking in a city. Many Australians see Americans as cold and unfriendly, particularly those from the northeastern cities. I understand where this stereotype comes from—most Bostonians put their heads down and walk, minding their own business and avoiding interactions with strangers. However, I have also seen this stereotype defeated in times of need such as after the marathon bombings in 2013. People opened their hearts and their homes to anyone in need, and the city banded together to get through one of the most difficult events in its history. So while the always-friendly culture of Australia is certainly amazing and different from home, both will always hold a special place in my heart.

Works Cited

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub., LLC, 2010. Print.

 

Travel Log 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Rachel Marino. Florence, Italy

Globalization is largely a reflection on how influential certain aspects of one culture are on another.  As a part of American culture, I can be influential towards people in Italian culture.  This is, of course, on a much, much smaller scale.  While it is possible that I could have an influence on one or two Italians, it is much more likely that this culture as a whole will affect my personality or the way I live.  The most important step in taking part in globalization is recognizing the differences between yourself and your home culture as well as recognizing the differences yourself and your host culture.  These differences can come in the form of personality and simply the way Italians approach things or they can be disguised in the outfits they adorn and most obviously the architecture that decorates this city.

Something that stuck out to me in the movie was how many people in poorer regions of the world, particularly east of the US, will wear second hand clothing from the west.  This struck me because many people from the West rarely think about where their clothes go after they’re through with them.  Including me.  Clothing is considered by many Americans and Europeans so essential and simple but also holds the ability to be very complex and can be a way of expressing many different aspects of one’s personality.  Clothing in the western world is often used to express oneself or reflect different moods, which can vary every day, just as clothes do.

The definition of the global community is constantly evolving because cultures around the world are constantly evolving.  I think a part of the definition that is lacking is the acknowledgment of the differences between the western and eastern worlds.  Although differences between America and Europe should be recognized, these differences are not the most important in the definition of global community.  The differences between social classes, between the poorest and richest countries and everywhere in between.  Being part of the global community means working to reduce the separation among all of the citizens part of the global community.

Author Kevin Robins discusses how as a global society we are trying to progress while also trying to digress in the acceptance and sense of community with people who practice Islam.  Muslims should be thought of on the same level as people who practice Catholicism, another branch of Christianity, Judaism, no religion at all, or any other religion.  Yes, this seems elementary and yes, people have been saying this for a long time now.  But there has never been a change, there has never been a reason to stop saying it.  Muslims are human.  That’s the only important factor because their humanity automatically includes them in the group we are all a part of, the global community.  Many people globally not only fail to recognize such a simple fact but also fail to realize how different the world would be if we viewed everyone simply as being human instead of placing definitions on people and casting them into groups based off of factors that do not define character.  “The intent is to shape global reality, not negate it (Robins, 245).

The photo I chose to share which represents my developing awareness of the interactions of globalization and travel is a photo of the Alps I took from a plane I took during my fall break from London to Venice.  I chose this photo because the Alps are fairly centrally located in Europe and they stretch across at least five countries.  The Alps serve as a symbol of unity and create a commonality between otherwise very different cultures.  These mountains can symbolize the commonality that the members of the global community should strive to create among all citizens of the global community.

 

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Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” by JonCarlo DeFeudis. Seville, Spain.

Once again I find myself opening my mind to parts of the world I had never even begun to think about. Before engaging in this week’s blog I had never before thought so heavily on the downsides of Globalization.

This week as I watched a documentary in preparation for this blog, T-Shirt Travels, my attention was brought to Zambia and the trade of second hand clothes. This documentary shows the negative aspect of globalization, which us Americans usually only link to positive change, technology, improved healthcare, and overall opportunity for poor countries. In this case I learned globalization can have the opposite effect too. Globalization has a huge role in the destiny of emerging economies of newly independent African countries beginning back around the 70’s, in particularly, Zambia. The countries which were heavily affected by this negative outcome of globalization are mostly southern African countries. These countries had just begun invest in their infrastructure and trended upward; only to be derailed by the outside influence of global influence. Something as slight as the coincidental rise in oil prices and a lull in copper prices in the 70’s forced Zambia to borrow money at unfair high interest rates. Copper was the main bedrock on which the Zambian republic funded everything (it is worth noting here that the colonialism forced Zambia to rely so heavily on this export). This caused Zambia to fall into a trap of corrupt debt policies imposed by World and International banks when it could not repay its debts. The economic circumstances experienced by Zambia and many other countries are like the global efforts against African Genocides, there is a complete lack of international intervention and morality from countries in high leverage positions.  The monetary international organizations that lent money to the emerging countries have behaved in the same way. The lenders do not work to ease the bleeding, but instead further the problems by imposing rules on the debt-ridden country which has little ability to negotiate or refuse the foreign policies. Thus, as these policies only aim to pay back the debt, the country is left with nothing to give to its citizens and infrastructure. The country slowly loses any progress made in infrastructure, manufacturing, industry, healthcare, and education, until finally the society is left impoverished once more by the hands of greed. Most often, as in Zambia’s case, the country is left even further in the negatives and worse off than it had begun. Now bringing all this economic policies full circle, one can see what the dark side of globalization can do to an emerging 3rd world country.

The article “Encountering Globalization” by Kevin Robins discusses the many upsides and downsides of our world becoming globalized. It has created so many wide and yet specific results upon every culture and nation. Robins did pontificate a certain idea which I found very insightful for us Limonoids, or in-betweeners, “Cultures are transformed by the incorporation they make from other cultures in the world. Salman Rushdie (1991: 394) has famously written of ‘the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures ideas, politics, movies, songs’ “(Robins, 243). After much study of classic novels of the 20th century in my years as a liberal arts student, I have studied the existential questions posed upon the humanity after the tragedies of the 19th and 20th centuries.thus  I tend to get in an argumentative stance whenever the topic of culture is mentioned. I hold individual cultures very dearly and believe that each should be held sacred and maintained for their rich uniqueness. After all, I have learned of all the monstrosities that colonialism and imperialism of the western world took part in. The manifest destinies destroyed many cultures that were beautiful and advanced. But Rushdie’s this idea of a third blend  from multiple cultures merging really spoke to me. It is talking about mending together one identity with another and having a  new more creative identity. Sounds familiar right? This is absolutely what our experience as students abroad should encompass. We are Americans living in a new culture and we are constantly engaged in learning new ideas. When we return to the U.S. we will bring all this together at the end of our Rite of Passage. Along the same vein, I have been studying Daoism and meditation, and have recently immersed myself in the deep theories of the perception of meaning. (I will attach a thought provoking video on this subject at the end of the blog for anybody interested.) As I meditate, the guide speaks of staying in the middle, a balance per say, of the world going on around you. It is a training to focus in on one’s self reality while merging with the ever-changing environment of what is going on outside one’s self. Here the concept of Daoism comes into play. This meditation, which aims to achieve a liminal balance on the planes of the future the past and the present, aligns with the Daoist yin and yang  representation of balance. Along with these concepts of balance, now think about humanity’s perceptions of the meaning of life. It can be said that the chaos and order (the yin and yang), that all humans experience, perceive, and justify in a meaningful way is the same as balance. Alas, there lies a third cog to the equation, which is a crucial concept of walking finely betwixt chaos and order. It is the third eye, looking ahead, while the world is occurring around one self. It is very similar to our idea of Liminality in the Rite of Passage theory. The third eye is like having one foot stepping forward constantly exploring and making sense of new things, while the other foot remains behind in the already known entities of chaos and order.

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The Daoist balance of Yin and Yang. 

Now what does Liminality, mindfulness, and Daoism have to do with the globalizing world, you may ask? They all point towards the same method; that every culture could adapt and change just as I am in this Rite of Passage process. Therefore, it is crucial that the emerging nations are allowed to transform in a way which will not destroy their culture and themselves. My change to this transition was prepared for and I had proper mentors and communistas to help me along the way (although my journey is still not over). In the perspective of globalization, the majority of the people of these transforming countries have no opportunity to keep up with the changes because their government cannot help them. They are simply left behind. That is not how a process of change should occur. To make this a better globalized world it is imperative to allow the poor countries to prepare and as they go through change to give support. In this way they would globalize and assimilate into that third mixed culture, with a well balance of old and new. Unfortunately, our World is not too keen on helping others. Ironically the system of globalization is uniting and connecting people like never before. The connection we are making is not a true  unification if we don’t help those struggling at the bottom. As my English 101 professor would say, “It is always necessary to go against the grain”, or think of the other side of the argument.

Jordan Peterson & John Vervaeke discuss the Meaning of Life

Picture: http://quotesgram.com/quotes-about-balance-yin-yang/

Robins, K., 2002. Encountering Globalization. In: C. Held & A. McGrew, eds. The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity. Ch. 20.

Travel Log 10 “Encountering Globalization” by Mike Raimondo, Florence, Italy.

Globalization is a fascinating topic, especially for a student in my position abroad. Globalization is the ever-expanding and growing interconnecting nature of our world. If you take a look at the large scale view of the global world, you would see various nations that have been consistently in battle with one another since the beginning of time. Shifts in borderlines, peoples, cultures have been constantly taking place since before Christ. In the modern world, however, globalization takes on a much different shape. One that differs from a world that is sharing culture and values through war campaigns and empire construction. The modern world is one in which the participants of the realm build off one another. The nations not only consult each other, but they share and assist each other through allied relations. This does not go to say that war, conflict or misunderstanding does not exist because that would be ignorant. These issues remain in our world significantly, and I believe they are in fact enhanced by the accessible nature of world news, and global connectedness.

Globalization in my eyes had gone otherwise unnoticed until I traveled abroad. Each and every day I see myself growing as an individual in a global community. Our definition of “global community” exemplifies these feelings I have been developing since August. When someone is placed into a host culture, they endure a shock that may be difficult to overcome. I believe the increase in globalization, however, has diminished such a shock significantly for students today. Globalization has allowed developed nations to share and adopt the culture, norms and sometimes language of other nations. In my case, Florence is a city in which globalization has taken a toll on the culture. The mass amounts of tourists in this city has forced native tongue to fall by the wayside. The majority of native Italians speak English, and this has reduced my need to force the native language into my brain. In addition to language, I find that clothing stores, food, leisure activities a nightlife is also significantly globalized. I may be drinking a beer from Germany while at an Italian night club listening to Justin Bieber. It is an utterly astonishing yet fascinating phenomenon. Robins writes in his article that, “What globalization in fact brings to existence is a new basis for thinking about the relation between culture convergence and cultural difference” (224). This idea is captivating to consider as an abroad student. I have undoubtedly thought about the relationship between these two concepts. Cultural difference remains existent due to the inability for others to adopt those cultural norms. It is important to remember that the only reason globalization expands, is because those of one culture adopt the standards of another. When this occurs, it is known as cultural convergence.IMG_8737.JPG I see this as an important aspect of the global world. As time progresses I predict globalization will continue to expand. I think that the world will begin to sympathize with the people of every nation rather than just their own. Human rights will, in my opinion, be more respected as the respect for different culture expands as well.

The photo I have chosen for this week is a picture of my friends and I at a “pink toga party” in Corfu, Greece. I believe this photo exemplifies the ideas of globalization in the sense that I was partaking in a very Americanized version of a former Greek tradition. The party included plate smashing, also a Greek tradition, but also included a shot with every plate which seems to be most appealing to American college students. I think that globalization is an important part of studying abroad and I find that by understanding how it works you are able to appreciate the individual culture that still exists.

Travel Log 9 “Exploring Stereotypes”, by Micaela Buttner. Gold Coast, Australia

Even if we have not been to a particular part of the world, we “know” exactly what the people there are like. Television shows, movies, the news and magazines portray an idea about how people from a certain culture or country behave. From listening to the media and from others who have traveled to different places, we form a stereotype about a country as a whole.Like Hafez Adel said, “…they provide a comfortable shortcut to understanding complex matters…” (Abroad View, Spring 2009, Volume 11, Issue 2, page 26-28.) To understand how a whole country works and acts in their every day life can be quite overwhelming and a hard feat to achieve. So instead, we form these stereotypes to make ourselves think we know exactly what they are like and how they live.

When coming to Australia, I thought I had them all figured out – tan beach babes with no care in the world. I never understood how people could be so laid back and not have any stress at all since I get anxiety over the smallest things. Yes, this may seem exactly how Australians are for any short-term visitor. But after being here for two months now, I have asked questions and gotten to know why these stereotypes exist. First of all, even though Australia is full of beaches, most Australians are not that tan. That was something I was very surprised about when I first arrived here. I came to find out very quickly that Australia has the highest rates for skin cancer. The Ozone layer has been destroyed from fossil fuels from America and China that it is basically non-existent. They lather on so much sunblock here in fear of getting skin cancer, which is why a lot of them actually don’t have the bronzed tan I expected them to have.

Australians are most famously known for their laid back lifestyle, which is definitely an accurate stereotype. After many über rides with very talkative older women, I have learned Australia, specifically the Gold Coast where I am located, would rather go to the beach and do other fun activities instead of sitting in class all day. To them, they do not see the point in going to University and wasting all that time. Instead, they would rather find a trade they are interested in and do that. This way, they start making money at a younger age and can go out and travel. This is so not how America is at all. We are told from a very young age the importance of going to College and that if we don’t, we won’t find a good enough job to support ourselves and a family someday. A few weeks ago in the elevator at my hotel, a housekeeper asked me what I was up to for the day. I replied that I had a midterm I had to study for. His response was, “Don’t work too hard. But if you do work hard, make sure you play even harder.” I laughed and told him to have a good day. After that conversation, it finally clicked in my head that yeah, Americans work hard in school to get the best grades we can, but we need to take on part of the lifestyle Australians have and just relax too. This is definitely a trait Australians have that I will try to bring back home with me. Another thing in particular, do not make an Australian mad! That is my biggest advice to anyone. I came here with the stereotype that Australians were the nicest people alive. A few friends warned me that that was not the case, but I ignored them anyways. But now having accidently made a few restaurant workers, staff leaders or random civilians irritated, I see what others were talking about. They speak exactly what is on their mind and are known to be hot heads. Do not take it personally because it is likely to happen.

While living on the Gold Coast I have also discovered some stereotypes here that I never knew existed. To put it as nicely as I can, men from the Gold Coast are known to be not the brightest bulbs. Apparently they are very into their looks and do not have the brains to follow. No short-term visitor would ever know that, but I have had multiple residents here give me that information. Although I have not interacted with many Australian men, I cannot help but think of that when I do. It is interesting to see the stereotypes Australians have of each other within their country compared to the ones we have of them.

Australians also have their own opinions of us and to my surprise they have all been positive. I thought Australians hated us just like the rest of the world, but apparently it is the complete opposite. One of my teacher’s was saying how Australians grow up watching American television and movies and listen to our music. They actually pick up on our behavior in attempt to be just like us, which I thought was very funny. My professor said many people in Australia idolize Americans because we go to university, so we must be really smart. When I was at a waterfall one day with my friends, a few young Australian boys were swimming in the water. They had heard our accents and were so excited because they realized we were American. One little boy blatantly said to me, “Are you rich? Because I heard America was full of rich people.” I did not know whether to take that as a compliment or not. Australia is a very expensive country and it is difficult to get ahead here. Australians see our big buildings, high-end clothes and fancy cars and think we are loaded with money. I never knew any one had that stereotype of us, so it was fascinating to see the way younger people reacted towards us. I do not think these stereotypes formed to “fill a vacuum of knowledge”. Now looking at America from an outsider’s point of view, I could see why they think we’re smart and wealthy.

Being in Australia for two months now has really allowed me to see the way they live and why. Slimbach says, “Mindful global learning aspires to narrow the gap between “us” and “them”, strengthening the bond of understanding and legitimate respect between strangers.” (pg. 87) I have dispelled some stereotypes and gained some new ones as well. A stereotype of a country as a whole definitely does not mean every individual is the same. No one can really say they know a place and the people there until they have spent time there to get to know them.

 

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Happiness First, Fall2016

I chose this picture to describe the stereotype Americans have of my host culture, Australia. Australians are none for being very easy going, and they are this way for good reason. It is not just because they want to go to the beach every day and go out drinking at night, it’s because they want to be happy. If they are not going to be happy going to university, then they don’t go. Working and saving money to provide for a family and fun-filled life is their goal. That is a quality about Australians I highly respect.

 

Works Cited

Slimbach, Richard. Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning (Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2010).

Travel Log 10, “Encountering Globalization” by Katheryn DeMarey. Florence, Italy

Globalization is everywhere. Billboards, factories, fashion of younger people and more. In fewer words, when I first used to hear the word globalization, I thought about younger children growing up faster than they once had and I always used to find myself to be quite salty when hearing the term ‘globalization’.  The video “The Travels of a T-shirt” opened my eyes to much more. Globalization is as simple as a product being used by Americans, recycled to Europeans AND also passed to the people of a village called Tanzania located in Africa. I thought it was incredible to see the producer follow the journey of one simple T-shirt.  From Florida, Washington DC, California, Shanghai, a village in SubSaharan Africa and further; this T-shirt had seen it all. The video even discussed the market transfer and how globalization allowed these items to find their way into a used clothing trade (yet another aspect of global trade where small entrepreneurs replaced the jobs of corporations).

When looking deeper into this specific example of globalization, human rights are subsequently touched upon. Being able to make use of one product for so long and passing it down through a few different levels of social class or through a few different types of markets allows there to be a shelf for human rights. Instead of throwing away the t-shirt, people use globalization to reduce, reuse and recycle products with people who may not have as many opportunities and chances for success like others may have. In a way, globalization helps increase the standard of living and bring more rights and respect to those who may be struggling. By participating in this type of recycling process, the global community will also find itself growing stronger.

When reading through “Encountering Globalization” another big idea about globalization was brought to the forefront. Globalization can be simple – things that we often overlook such as eating at an Italian restaurant, ordering out Chinese food, turning on CNN for real time news stories, where your clothing was produced or even where the inputs for such products originate; “it is very possible to see the world without having to move. For now, the world is able to come to wherever we are” (Robins, 240). This quote hit home for me because it is crazy to think about the impact and effects other countries have on each other. To be able to stay in one place and experience similar types of trends or tastes has brought this world to another whole level. Because of this, business markets are constantly changing and evolving.

At first I thought that I encountered globalization when I was in the presence of marketing and advertising, but I now realize that I am constantly being affected and affecting globalization piece by piece. By purchasing different presents from the countries that I am traveling to/from and mailing them back to the states I am first handedly participating in globalization. By choosing to eat at a Mexican restaurant back in America or by donating my clothes to a local salvation army, I am participating in globalization. Ironically, one of the trends that I thought used to be very interesting is when traveling to other European countries and looking for a place to eat, there is always some type of “Ponte Vecchio Pasta” or “Duomo Italiano” restaurant. For some reason I always thought it was bizarre to see this type of thing in other countries but I never once thought about how this was a form of globalization and the United States has the exact same types of things… just with some more basic type names.

After the constant reflection and revision, our definition of global community has started to fade away from my mind. I feel as though there are so many working parts to a global community not one definition could define it properly. A global community would be composed of respect and character, a group of people who look out for each other and who impact others ways of life. A global community could be as simple as how everyone is interconnected and interdependent. Either way, a global community shows a sense of unity and influence.

istock_000012148264xsmallThe photo that I decided to include for this week is shown on the right. It helps convey my developing awareness of the interactions of globalization because it is depicting differences and unity. At first I thought that globalization was mainly negative, but throughout this course and my travels I have learned that globalization is a mix of a bunch of different things from culture and food all the way to media and business.

Robins,K., 2002. Encountering Globalization. In:C. Held & A. McGrew, eds. The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity. Ch 20.